Startup Edmonton connects entrepreneurs and product builders with community, skills and space to support them as they take an idea to reality. Since 2009, Startup Edmonton has created collisions - between developers, designers, makers, founders, investors and mentors - transforming ideas into companies.
Trent Oster will be the first to tell you he owes much of his success to nostalgia. His game development studio is known for enhancing classic roleplaying games (RPGs) from the 90s after all. But did you know he also owes a debt of gratitude to the late Steve Jobs?
In 2009, Beamdog — now the largest independent game studio in Edmonton — was struggling to distinguish itself in an ever-crowded online gaming market. Firm believers in direct sales, Oster and his co-founder Cam Tofer set up a digital distribution platform similar to online PC-games retailer Steam. Despite more than 300 unique titles on offer, Beamdog barely had any sales. This was the same year the iPad launched.
“It’s a big iPhone,” Oster thought when news of the tablet broke. “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”
So naturally he bought one.
His opinion quickly changed. Not only was the tablet ideal for casually surfing the web or answering emails, but it was perfect for playing tactical RPGs similar to Baldur’s Gate, which Oster and Tofer both helped develop while working at BioWare.
“With a PC you can cook in three or four, maybe five hours of focused, intense gameplay,” Oster explains, “then you need a break. Whereas when you’re on your couch playing [on an iPad], you’re relaxing. You can set it down for a minute, come back. You can just engage in a different manner.”
A screenshot from Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition.
The pair immediately started chasing down the rights to Baldur’s Gate, and a year later came away with a deal that would allow them to enhance five classic RPGs: Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate II, Icewind Dale, Planescape: Torment and Neverwinter Nights.
It’s taken years to fully take advantage of this deal. (The plan to make targeted, focused improvements was abandoned two weeks into enhancing Baldur’s Gate, when Tofer was forced to delete more than 300,000 words of code.) But the studio finally released its last Dungeons & Dragons title in 2018 — leaving fans to wonder what was next.
In 2019, Beamdog will release its first unique title: Axis & Allies Online. The one- to five-player game is a loyal adaptation of the beloved World War II strategy board game, Axis & Allies: 1942 Second Edition.
A screenshot of the upcoming Axis & Allies Online.
A turn-based affair, it pits the Allies (the U.S., the U.K. and the Soviet Union) against the Axis (Germany and Japan). Players can play solo against a script-based AI, or against a mix of AI and other people in multiplayer. There is also an option to play asynchronously.
“It allows almost that play by email mechanic,” Oster explains. “You can each take your turn when it fits into your schedule, which for older guys like me is an important thing.”
While enhancing the RPGs came with some challenges (about 70 per cent of the original code had to be rewritten and some of it was lost), so did building a unique title from scratch. User interface design became especially important in communicating the game’s complex rules, and the team was forced to build a custom web-based engine to ensure the back end was both scalable and secure.
Except in local, single-player mode, all games are hosted on a cloud-based server, which validates each move. This prevents cheating and opens opportunities for competitive play down the road, explains Oster.
2019 is a big year for Beamdog — with the 20th anniversary of Baldur’s Gate, the upcoming release of Axis & Allies Online and the announcement that all six of their RPGs (the studio also developed an expansion called Siege of Dragonspear in 2016) will be released on Xbox, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch later this year. The triple I (for indie) studio has also doubled in size to include 47 people.
“We’re in a position to do something new and different and exciting,” Oster says about the slow build to Beamdog's first unique title. “It’s really a chance to level up the company.”
We’re proud to celebrate our alumni companies!
Did you know that Beamdog was part of the very first Launch Party in Edmonton in March 2010?! We’re thrilled to celebrate their ongoing success, and recognize the contributions of Trent to the ongoing growth of our startup community. Trent is currently the chair of ECOS - the Edmonton Advisory Council on Startups.
Interested in moving your idea for a game forward? Consider joining us for Business Model 101 on July 6. It’s a chance to look at your concept from a new perspective, and spend some dedicated to time on the business of your game.
Last month, I shared three ways you could help build our startup community. All I can say is - wow! In May, we saw our busiest Hack Day of the year; you shared the stories of incredible Edmonton startup companies and cheered them at Collision, North America's fastest growing tech conference; welcomed more than 20 new student entrepreneurs to the Student Summer Program; and helped us find a great new team member.
Thank you for the vital role you play in building our startup community and encouraging even more people to connect.
In May, we co-hosted the Prairies Region - Startup Canada Awards with TEC Edmonton. A huge congratulations to all of the winners and nominees. I would like to take a moment to recognize Michael Wilson, Craig Knox, and the entire DrugBank team on their award for High Growth Startup of the Year!
This month, we start planning for Edmonton Startup Week and 2019/2020 student programs. But, that doesn't mean we're taking the summer off from Business Model 101 and Preflight! Book a meeting with Ben, our new Community Coordinator, to learn more about opportunities to move your idea forward, find a great meetup to learn a new skill, and how we can support your efforts.
REFLECTIONS ON COLLISION AND INVENTURES
This week, we're at Inventures in Calgary, an unconference where creative minds connect entrepreneurs and startups with venture capitalists, angel investors, service providers, and thought leaders to discover and share the latest in innovation coming. While just a few weeks ago, the startup community was out in full force at Collision in Toronto, North America's fastest growing tech conference.
Attending events can be a big time commitment for founders and their teams. Check out From meetups to international conferences: Why events matter year-round over on the blog to hear Tiffany Linke-Boyko's thoughts on the role social events play in founder and startup community success.
Our friends from the Lazaridis Institute are coming to meet the Edmonton tech community! The Institute has worked with more than 30 of Canada’s most promising companies to scale their business to a global competitor through their ScaleUp Program.
Join them June 25 from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m at Startup Edmonton to meet their team and learn more about the ScaleUp Program.
This will be a stop on their cross Canada tour as they search for Canada’s top 10 Canadian startups ready to scale. The program offers participants access to North America’s top senior talent. Their mentors have been part of the successes at Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Shopify, Uber, Nest, Eventbrite, ecobee, Apple and more.
P.S. We'll forgive them for the capital u in Startup Edmonton 😉
MEET BEN TRUONG - OUR NEW COMMUNITY MANAGER
We're over the moon to have Ben join us as Community Coordinator. He will be the first point of contact for individuals looking to engage with us and the broader tech/innovation community.
Ben comes from a finance and coordination background through various roles held at the University of Alberta. He is ecstatic to be joining Startup Edmonton to work with entrepreneurs and help make community connections. In his spare time, you'll find him snapping photos, playing drums, or cruising through the city on board, bike, or motorcycle.
Our Job Board is one of the best resources in town to find technical talent. This month, there are lots of business development, sales, and marketing jobs on offer with some of the most exciting companies in town, too.
Photo credit: The Gabbi.ai team at Launch Party 9 - October 18, 2018.
Our members and alumni are passionate about fostering startup and innovation culture in our city, and we're proud to support them through mentorship & programs, workspace, talent support, and a thriving community. We have loads of new company profiles up on the blog!
Join us for Business Model 101 to kick-start work on your product idea! Use our favourite tool to brainstorm, set priorities, and make a plan for next steps. Spend an evening with us and kick-start work on your product. Reserve your spot for $25.
Our flagship program, Preflight has launched some of Edmonton's most successful startup and scaling technology companies. Over the course of three workshop series, we'll coach you to refine and prove your market, create a product and company roadmap, prepare to pitch to investors and sell to customers.
This week, the Startup team is at Inventures, an unconference where creative minds connects entrepreneurs and start-ups with venture capitalists, angel investors, service providers, and thought leaders to discover and share the latest in innovation coming. While just a few weeks ago, the startup community was out in full force at Collision, North America’s fastest growing tech conference. We thought it would be a great time to look at how events (big and small) have an impact on Edmonton’s tech founders.
While there’s no doubt Collision was an amazing experience for the 10 Edmonton startups that participated, social events are equally as important to the success of the city’s ecosystem.
Here’s what Tiffany Linke-Boyo, our CEO, had to say.
Let’s start with Collision. What are the benefits of going to a large international conference like that?
Tiffany: Our companies were able to interact with investors, potential customers and peers all in one spot. And some of those people wouldn’t necessarily have come to Edmonton. What shakes down is dependent on each party, but I think being able to reach a different network than you would normally provides a really interesting opportunity.
But conferences are only valuable if you put in the work before: find out who’s going, do your research and set up meetings. Attending the talks are great, but even better is if you can talk to one of the speakers later or set up meetings around the conference so you can maximize your time. And use the evening events to meet even more people. A lot of good relationships are made during those casual interactions.
That’s true. There’s a lot of emphasis on transactional exchanges (meeting with venture capitalists, customer demos) at these international conferences. What are the benefits to attending some more casual events that happen throughout the year?
Tiffany: You never know who you meet and what value they can bring to you or you can bring to them. Sometimes it’s not something immediate, it’s down the road. I think sometimes it’s forgotten that the smaller interactions tend to have a bigger impact on your company. Things like meetups or going to different events and getting to know the community helps to expand your network, so that when you run into challenges, you’re able to reach out.
Do you have any favourite local events?
Tiffany:DemoCamp is my favourite event. I like it because there’s a casualness about it. If you are a hardcore tech builder that’s been in the community for a long time you can find your place. Or if this is your first event it’s casual enough that you can come and not feel intimidated. And I like that it’s all about the product and building things, and celebrating people trying out different ideas regardless of if it will turn into a company.
What advice do you have for the founder trying to juggle networking with a dozen other priorities?
Tiffany: It’s hard for founders in the middle of all they have going on to try to make time for networking. It’s not about making time for everything, but about being strategic. Inventure$ is an example of an international conference that’s just three hours down the road. But making time for those things is important, because it’s a whole lot harder to build networks when you’re in the thick of it. If you do little steps along the way, that will help you in the long run.
There are hundreds of meetups and community events in our space every year, and there is no better time than now to commit to coming to one in the next month! From data science to product management, civic engagement to learning to code - there are awesome, passionate, and knowledgable meetup leaders that are happy to introduce you to the community.
Between himself, his wife and their three children, the family of five found themselves managing some 200 accounts, their login information all stored in a rapidly-filling little black book.
“We ran out of pages!” Wolverton recalls. “We had to start a new [book]. Our kids are all in school, and they come home with new passwords every semester, with new accounts.”
Of course, your computer can encrypt and remember your passwords for you. But even the largest companies have data breaches exposing those passwords and the information and access they protect. So for Wolverton, the inspiration for Stash was ultimately pretty simple: “there’s got to be a better way of doing this.”
Stash offers a unique system of password management: it’s a physical card that uses patent-pending technology to keep all your passwords safe, by storing them offline and thus far from any potential internet hacks. Powered by NFC technology — the same tech that powers tap payments for credit cards — in conjunction with a phone app, it allows your phone (and only your phone) to deliver passwords from the card when it’s activated by the press a button.
“We’re calling it our island technology: we put this physical island barrier that separates the online world with our password vault,” he says. “But on it, you have a physical button [on the card], creating an air-gap so you control that island. It’s not like someone can [create] a software solution and get around you. You physically control it.”
Jerry chats with the crowd at Launch Party 9 - October 2018.
Wolverton notes that the Stash card never directly connects the stored password with the internet. Instead, the card acts as a one-part-at-a-time sort of go-between: it disconnects from the internet when it accesses its password storage, and disconnects from the password storage before it reconnects with the internet.
“So a would-be hacker could try and access that vault, or that island, but they’d just be stonewalled, ‘cause they can’t get past it,” he says. “But when you make a request, and you pass that information to the back end, we can then handle how to retrieve that information and then reconnect to the outside world, and automate signing in.”
Currently, Stash is only available to Android users, as there are some hurdles in applying it to Apple’s current software. You load the card up database through the app, and it can generate new passwords for your accounts, should you need them.
A mechanical engineer by trade, Wolverton had been mulling over the idea for a while, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that technology had advanced to make it seem feasible. And after connecting with entrepreneur Kevin Eliason — their kids were on the same soccer team, and turns out they went to the same small Saskatchewan high school, albeit almost a decade apart — Stash was on its way.
“He’s the operations guy — he really balances me out when I get bogged down in the engineering and the tech,” Wolverton says of Eliason. “He sets me straight: what do we need to do? what do we need to get done?”
They were also bolstered by being part of the Startup Edmonton community.
“Right at the very beginning, I reached out to them and walked through all their different programs there. I am an engineer, I’m not a sales/marketing person, all these things really stretch me,” Wolverton says. “I made a promise to myself to make sure I said yes as often as I could to a group like Startup Edmonton to be involved, to be able to put myself out there at every opportunity they would give me. And so I’ve been very grateful.”
Stash was one of Startup’s 2018 Launch Party companies, and now they’re one of nine Edmonton companies headed to Toronto to take part in Collision, a massive tech conference. Which is well-timed, as Stash’s development is entering its final pre-launch steps. They’re taking preorders for cards now.
“It’s amazing to be connected,” Wolverton says, of our online lives. “All the things that we can do, that makes a lot of sense. But we can’t make the internet safer. The only thing we do control is how we access the internet and those service providers, and that comes down to our passwords.”
Jerry and Kevin are alumni of our Preflight program. Our flagship program, Preflight has launched some of Edmonton's most successful startup and scaling technology companies. Over the course of three workshop series, we'll coach you to refine and prove your market, create a product and company roadmap, prepare to pitch to investors, and sell to customers.
We’ll help hold you accountable to your potential and drive. Plus, you’ll connect with a group of peers that understand the challenges of entrerpreneurship.
People imagine real estate agents as always on the job. Roberto Moreno wants to change that. A few years ago, when his wife Elisse wanted to return to the world of real estate, they wondered how they could use the latest developments in technology to make the job easier and let her spend more time with her family. And so Gabbi, the A.I. assistant they have been developing over the last two years, was born.
Touted as a central hub for all communications between an agent and a client, Gabbi aims to step in to help convert leads and move sales forward. “Statistics show that if realtor doesn’t respond to a potential customer within a few minutes, that customer has already gone elsewhere,” says Moreno. “The consumer wants information much quicker. It’s important for agents to be able to respond in a timely matter with accurate information, and that’s really where Gabbi can come in and help.”
“There are also a lot of repetitive tasks in an agent’s day,” he continues. “A lot could be automated or enhanced. We’re trying with Gabbi is help agents do what they do best, which is build relationships.”
The Gabbi.ai team at Launch Party 9!
Gabbi’s MLS integration — arguably its killer feature — allows it to pull from the MLS (multiple listing service) database and return listings that match with a client’s parameters. That information is then sent to the realtor for confirmation, and within minutes, back to the customer. In order to make this possible, Gabbi takes advantage of natural language processing (NLP).
“Natural language processing is talking to somebody and being able to understand what the customer is saying,” he explains. In the event Gabbi can’t understand a message, that message gets flagged and sent to the agent so the agent can look at it and respond.
But technological hurdles aside, the biggest challenge Moreno and his team has faced so far has been changing people’s perception of the real estate industry and how technology can help realtors move into the future. “When you’re talking about A.I. there’s still some confusion. People fear things when they don’t understand it,” he says. “They think Gabbi just another tool in their arsenal, but Gabbi is more of a process.”
Much of their work has been in helping realtors understand exactly what Gabbi offers. “Once they get to see it in action, they’re like, “Oh, this is actually going to make my life easier and let me spend more with my family.”
Although currently in beta, Elisse and her team have been using Gabbi for the past year with resounding success, saving 15 to 25 percent of a customer’s time and thus allowing her team to increase the number of leads they could turn sales.
Another characteristic that Moreno hopes gives Gabbi an edge over its competition is the fact it’s designed to be used both by agents and customers. “Everyone’s been trying to tackle things from different angles,” he says. “Other tools either focus on the agent side of things or on the consumer side.”
“With Gabbi, the consumer feels like they're being taken care of much quicker much better, and the agents have a better work-life balance because Gabbi's there helping. When Elisse and I go on dates, and I like to joke that Gabbi is kind of always there with us. But she's doing work and letting you be able to spend time with your family and not have to worry about some of these mundane.”
At its core, Moreno and his team view Gabbi to help real estate agents spend less time doing things that can be automated and more time cultivating relationships with their customers, an area they still have a distinct advantage over even the latest A.I. technologies.
And while Gabbi currently only operates in the real estate realm, at heart it’s a sales tool. In the future, Moreno envisions Gabbi being a tool that any sort of salesperson uses, no matter the industry. “We hope that it’ll be something automatic, like a website was 20 years ago,” he says. “We’ve barely scratched the surface of what Gabbi can do.”
Gabbi.ai was part of the Launch Party class of 2018! Launch Party is a startup community tradition that helps launch new tech products, connect companies with investors, and first customers.
If you have an idea for a tech product, but aren’t sure where to start, Preflight is a great place to test out your idea. Our flagship program, Preflight has launched some of Edmonton's most successful startup and scaling technology companies. Over the course of three workshop series, we'll coach you to refine and prove your market, create a product and company roadmap, prepare to pitch to investors, and sell to customers.
We’ll help hold you accountable to your potential and drive. Plus, you’ll connect with a group of peers that understand the challenges of entrerpreneurship.
dealcloser was founded in typical startup fashion: a personal problem sparked an idea, which led to a set of terrible user interface mockups on Power Point and an initial investment that just covered the cost of building a prototype.
Like most startups, it took a while to hammer out a minimum viable product, but a solid product market fit kept investors and customers interested. Now, dealcloser is being used in law firms in 9 cities in North America, in 5 states and provinces, in 2 countries around the world.
The secret to dealcloser’s success? It’s solving a real problem in a traditional industry ripe for disruption: the legal industry.
“There’s a lot of pressure on law firms and lawyers to be more affordable,” CEO and co-founder Amir Reshef explains. “The billable hour is a slowly dying model and a lot more work is being done on quotes or RFP, where the lawyers have to commit to a price in advance.”
dealcloser helps corporate lawyers become more efficient by modernizing the largely paper-based process of completing a transaction. The cloud-based platform eliminates many non-value-added administrative tasks, such as collecting signatures, filing, and manually tracking document versions, that not only drive up the legal bill, but can lead to costly mistakes.
“When one company wants to buy another it's not as simple as buying a car and handing over the keys,” Amir explains. “It takes a lot of documents and ultimately a lot of paper … and this process can become very quickly unmanageable, unless you have a lot of time and people to throw at it.”
Amir Reshef, CEO and co-founder of dealcloser, chats with the crowd at Launch Party 7.
dealcloser stores all documents for a project in one digital place, allowing for better version tracking and document management, especially when collaborating with other lawyers or professional advisors on a deal. An export feature allows attorneys to create a professional closing book with the click of a button, while a smart notification system eliminates the need to follow up with clients through email.
The transaction management platform supports any type of deal — from a simple incorporation to a complex M&A deal — and uses the highest security standards: end-to-end encryption, rotating encryption keys and, soon, blockchain, for immutable record keeping.
Not only does dealcloser makes lawyers’ lives easier, but it also creates a better a better experience for clients, who no longer have to travel to the firm and spend half a day walking around a table signing documents. They can do everything they need to do on a deal from their phone or tablet.
So how did Amir and his co-founder come up with such a specific software as a service (SaaS) product?
Prior to co-founding dealcloser, Amir practiced corporate law at a large international firm. As a junior lawyer he was responsible for manually reviewing, sorting and pushing all this paperwork.
“If you use technology at all,” he says, “it takes five minutes of doing your first job on a deal to be like ‘How is there not an app for this?’”
A quick aforementioned Power Point presentation later and he secured a technical team and that initial investment.
“No one has ever disagreed with the problem,” CTO and co-founder Mike O’Connor says.
O'Connor joined dealcloser as a technical consultant. He was hired through his “startup as a service” firm, White Icon, to develop a prototype and minimum viable product, but opted to stay with the startup full-time — even bringing his business partner, Darren Yuhar, into the fold. (Darren now works as Chief Product Officer at dealcloser.)
Amir is an alum of our Preflight program. Our flagship program, Preflight has launched some of Edmonton's most successful startup and scaling technology companies. Over the course of three workshop series, we'll coach you to refine and prove your market, create a product and company roadmap, prepare to pitch to investors, and sell to customers.
We’ll help hold you accountable to your potential and drive. Plus, you’ll connect with a group of peers that understand the challenges of entrerpreneurship.
In his work as a divorce lawyer, Tim Mallett often hears the same request from his clients.
“‘All I want is this done as quickly and cheaply as possible,’” he recalls. Which is, of course, easier said than done: the cost of a typical divorce in Canada can range into the thousands (or more) depending on the complexities of the situation. And that’s not factoring in all the time and energy spent on the runaround: finding a lawyer you trust, working around their schedule, standing in line-ups to file paperwork, and every other step involved can quickly add up.
Melanie at Launch Party 9 - October, 2018
So Mallett, alongside fellow lawyer Melanie d'Haene, founded Undo (undo.ca), a completely online resource to streamline the complexities of the divorce process. Currently, it’s available for use in Alberta and Ontario: Undo starts with a series of questions about one’s particular situation, and from there, can generate everything necessary to complete a divorce application.
In its simplest version, Undo helps with basic calculations, like property and debt division and spousal & child support. In its full-service take, Undo gathers the necessary paperwork, has a lawyer review the documentation, and sends a commissioner to you to sign everything before delivering everything to the courthouse for you.
“It can take a long time to get that stuff together,” Mallett explains of the usual process. “We tried to really focus on making things make sense as much as possible, because this is a very complicated process — trying to just simplify things, make them look good, and make decision points as simple as possible for the people using it.”
To develop Undo’s tech side, Mallett enlisted Edmonton-based digital agency Lift Interactive to build the software. And after opening Undo up to users last year — 1000 people have signed up, while about 50 have used it to finalize their divorce — they’ve further tweaked the product to make it as user friendly as possible.
“We’re getting pretty good feedback on the intuitiveness of the process,” he says, adding that new features — such as a call to action button, that pairs the a user up with a lawyer — are on the horizon based on feedback they’ve received from users.
Response from the judicial side has been promising too. Mallett sees Undo as a way of assisting an overburdened system that, in some cases, can feel like an intimidating, uncomfortable fit.
Tim pitches to the crowd at Launch Party 9 - October, 2018.
“Traditional ideation of the lawyer role is [that] you’re like the gladiator in combat,” he says. “And that’s not a conducive environment to try and help a family. There’s that element [of] should people even be in this arena? Aren’t there other ways we can deal with this?”
In streamlining the divorce process, Mallett doesn’t see Undo as detracting from divorce lawyers’ necessity. While Undo has some tools for by spouses who have not yet reached an agreement, he notes that the service isn’t ideal for people who find themselves in a particularly acrimonious situation with their partner, or if there’s a large, complicated property situation involved. But for those who are aren’t facing those hurdles, and are looking to get through their divorce with speed and simplicity, Undo offers a new path through a difficult undertaking.
“There are a lot of people who are saying, ‘We basically have a deal in place, we just want you to review it and make it formal so we can know this is done, put to bed,’” Mallett explains. “Those are the main people we’re trying to help.”
Do you have an idea for a tech product?
Undo were members of the Launch Party class of 2018 and it’s wonderful to share their progress over the past six months. If you have an idea for a tech product or company, we’re here to help! Book a meeting with a Community Manager to get a personalized selection of resources, events, and programs that can help propel your success.
Do you have a passion for entrepreneurship and seeing companies grow in Edmonton? Are you interested in being part of diversifying the Edmonton economy?
Edmonton is at an exciting point in time to foster a swell of tech startups, and Startup Edmonton plays a key role in this endeavour. The Strategic Program Manager will identify and develop strategies focused on the expansion of Startup Edmonton programs. This role will report to and work directly with the CEO of Startup Edmonton.
Operating in a fast-past environment, this individual will lead the team in the growth of programming through partnerships, curriculum development and increased program awareness. This capable professional will mentor and coach team members while being strategically focused on evolving and developing programming that maintains relevance and impact.
At Startup Edmonton, we connect entrepreneurs and product builders with skills, community and space to support them as they take ideas to reality. We create collisions – between developers, designers, makers, founders and mentors – and deliver programs that transform ideas into companies. Startup Edmonton is 14,000 square feet of program, community and co-working space at the historic Mercer Warehouse.
We are looking for a passionate individual who is enthusiastic about building the startup community and helping entrepreneurs find success.
Innovate Edmonton’s mission within EEDC is to create the best possible environment for technology innovation and tech-enabled startup and scaleup company growth. We are focused on creating new tech businesses, helping high potential businesses scale and inspiring action to fuel growth in Edmonton’s innovation and technology business community. We perform this work through our four entrepreneur communities: Startup Edmonton, the Edmonton Research Park, Edmonton Made and our partnership with the University of Alberta in TEC Edmonton.
Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) cultivates the energy, innovation and investment needed to build a prosperous and resilient Edmonton economy.
The successful candidate will be responsible for:
Strategically expanding and executing programs that support and promote tech-enabled companies
Identifying and implementing strategies that deliver on business objectives
Delivering on established sales targets and effectively managing a budget
Developing and enhancing partner relationships
Making an impact on the innovation community
The successful candidate will have:
Post-secondary degree in Business, Marketing, Communications or another related field. A combination of education and work experience will be considered.
Minimum of 5 years’ experience in a strategic, program development role
Minimum of 2 years’ experience leading, mentoring and coaching a team of professionals
Aptitude in identifying the needs of customers and creating/driving solutions
Superior interpersonal and communication skills
Passion about the entrepreneurial community
If this leadership opportunity represents you and you would like to become part of a team dedicated to building an incredible tech and innovation community in Edmonton, we want to hear from you! Submit your cover letter and resume by May 13, 2019. Click here to register on our applicant tracking system and submit your resume.
Next Month, we’re part of an Edmonton delegation, lead by Edmonton Economic Development, going to Collision - North America’s fastest growing tech conference. When it was announced last year that the conference was relocating to Canada, we knew it was a fantastic opportunity for our city’s tech companies to find early customers, build relationships with investors, and even recruit for talent.
I look forward to standing with our tech founders and their teams to share exciting news about their companies. Alongside local partners from the Edmonton innovation ecosystem, and our counterparts at Calgary Economic Development, it will be an exciting opportunity to share updates and tech developments from our city and province.
Join me in congratulating the eight companies selected to co-locate with the Edmonton presence at the conference at the Startup Island located just a few steps away and as BETA startup program participants. This program provides opportunities for startups to access pitch stages, mentor hours and more.
dealcloser: Dealcloser is an online platform designed for business lawyers that makes the transaction process more efficient and accurate, automating or eliminating many of the non-value-added administrative tasks required to keep a deal running smoothly.
DigiPlay: DigiPlay Gaming is a new way to play! Instantly access, try and play console-quality games right in your browser.
Elsi Inc.: Where do you stash your passwords? Stash is the first offline password manager with online convenience. Tap your card to instantly sign in to any account; secure your login with unique, strong passwords for each of your accounts and easily update; and store your passwords on a STASH card and not someone else’s server.
ez enRoute: ez enRoute is a touch-free, iBeacon-based student and bus tracking system. Created in Canada by an Edmonton school parent with seasoned, technology, education and school bus experts to meet the needs of parents, schools, and bus operators to track and monitor students during school bus transit.
Testfire Labs: Testfire’s flagship product, Hendrix.ai, leverages natural language processing and machine learning to capture meeting summaries and optimize outcomes. Hendrix is the simplest and most efficient way to automatically transcribe, summarize, organize and recall your meeting notes, actions, and data.
TrajectoryIQ: TrajectoryIQ helps companies welcome employees, orient existing staff and communicate internal messages in a fun and engaging way. Onboard, educate, and sell using top shelf tech, and get instant insights on how your employees are performing at a glance.
UNDO: UNDO is divorce made simpler. Interactive software helps you make financial decisions and generates your court documents, which are reviewed by a lawyer. We send someone to you to sign and file your documents at court. Get divorced without leaving home - answer six quick questions to get started.
Zept: Zept’s mission is to help international students get into the best schools possible. We have indexed all of the Canadian university and college programs. All you have to do is enter your high school grades and what you want to study in our iOS, Android or Amazon app - we recommend the schools that are a good match. When you favourite a school, we notify the school and give them a chance to reach out to you.
Also joining Collision as part of the ALPHA startup program is Spontivly.
Spontivly: Spontivly helps you discover local experiences and activities within your community. Discover, coordinate, share and join in meaningful activities with communities of likeminded individuals who seek fulfilling connections.
Last month, Lauren and I had the chance to connect with our peers across the country from the Canadian Digital Media Network. It was a fantastic reminder about the supportive startup communities across the nation and the opportunities we have to bring founders together to share experiences.
Did you know that Startup Edmonton workspace and program members can access free workspace in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal through the CDMN Passport Program? Next time you're travelling for work, drop us a line, and we're happy to connect you.
In the last month, we've welcomed more than 20 founders to our Preflight program! Preflight 2 starts in just a few weeks, and it's a great mix of facilitated sessions and mentor roundtables with team members and founders from local startup and scaling companies. Read on for more details on what to expect and how to get involved.
Preflight | Find a network of peers as you build a product
Building a tech company on your own is hard. One of the best parts of our Preflight program is the chance to surround yourself with peers going through the same experience.
Join us for Preflight 2 starting on April 23. In this eight-week session, in addition to workshops on product, team and company strategy, community members will come in for mentorship roundtables to answer your pressing questions about the real-world startup experience.
DemoCamp 45 | Three Tips for First Timers
DemoCamp is our longest running event for a good reason - it's a lot of fun! If you haven't come out to a DemoCamp before, here are our top three tips for first-time attendees:
Make plans to stay for a chat after the demos. It's an excellent opportunity to ask questions, meet people in the community, and dig deeper into cool new projects.
You don't need to understand all of the tech to enjoy the experience. It's motivating and inspiring to see how people build products, even if you don't understand the ins-and-outs of all the demos or the language.
Come cheer on folks showing off their hard work! Standing up and showing off something you made from scratch can be exciting, but also a little intimidating. It means a lot to see the community out supporting your efforts.
Imagine being able to understand the cause of your chest pain or screen for liver cancer using your smartphone.
While home use is likely years away, Dornoosh Zonoobi and her team at Medo.ai have developed software using artificial intelligence and cloud computing that eliminates the need for an expert to perform or analyze an ultrasound scan.
Medical imaging is critical to the diagnosis and treatment of many medical conditions, yet nearly two-thirds of the world’s population does not have access to the most basic radiology services. This gap is most profound in developing countries, but, as Medo’s founders realized, access isn’t always great in developed countries either.
Did you know that everyone who meets with us for a Get Started meeting leaves with a personalized list of resources, events, and opportunities tailored to their specific needs?
Our focus is tech, but we've been asked everything from how do I find a community recording studio? to where can I find regulations related to cricket protein for consumption? We don't have all the answers, but we'll do our best to point you in the right direction, refer you to other organizations that do great work, and suggest interesting people you can connect with at meetups.
Students are almost across the finish line for the Winter semester! We're sending all the good vibes as they write finals and prep for summer jobs and internships.
Our Student Summer Program is a chance for post-secondary students to explore their product idea and learn the ins-and-outs of entrepreneurship. Program members take Preflight, have access to workspace, and lots of opportunities for mentorship from community leaders.
The Program is specifically designed to allow students to work or study full-time over the summer while participating in all of the activities.